Government Operations

Any government institution is a service organization, and its customers are the citizens it serves.

Sometimes people think that the government is a monopoly and citizens do not have a choice.  This is not only wrong, but it is harmful to both government employees and the citizens they serve.  Developers and business leaders could relocate for the same reasons as individual citizens.  When doing business becomes too painful and does not justify the investment of capital and resources, people and organizations will pursue other alternatives.  We have found, through multiple years of projects working with government agencies that there is indeed a cost of poor quality.  Here are some examples,

  • Citizens not being served due to the length of time for a legal process to take place, taking up to 7 years in some cases
  • Inefficient processes to approve foster care families resulting in a significant percentage of children being placed outside of their city of residence.
  • Citizens skipping the required step of obtaining a housing license due to the lengthy and unpredictable process.
  • Inefficient review panels delaying decisions on fire and police workers’ compensation claims - extending unwarranted benefits and resulting in higher overtime payments for the replacement workers.
  • Long cycle time to find placement for people being released from a Mental Health Hospital resulting in higher cost of stay and unhappy patients

 

A focus on operational excellence will assist agencies in their goal to better serve customers by:

  1. Measuring customer satisfaction with current processes…
  2. Reducing citizens’ complaints through better and more predictable processes
  3. Reducing cost of providing services
  4. Improving interactions with customers by streamlining the flow of information and making it transparent
  5. Assisting customers/citizens in solving problems more quickly
  6. Providing a process-improvement focus vs a task force focus which helps engage government employees to improve
  7. Holding contractors and other suppliers accountable for superior results.

Diverse government project team moves through storming phase to realize opposing interests do not have to be project dead ends

Problem: A team gathered to work on providing faster and more appropriate access to energy credits and discounts across the community they served.  Included in the team were lawyers, social workers and financial controllers.  Each team member brought unique interests and objectives to the table relating to people, financial and regulatory compliance outcomes.

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  • The team used a candid interview process to document each party’s interests.  As a result, they recognized they had opposing objectives and differing priorities.
  • Individual surveys were used with facilitated discussions to help the team understand each person’s skillset and style
  • Team charter was used to agree to a set of team norms and process to handle violations
  • Mid-project team and individual assessments enabled the team to incorporate feedback to grow

Results: More benefit extended to additional recipients as the % of Utility discount program participation increased participation from 75% to 93% of the targeted population.  Cycle time to provide benefits dropped from 90 to 30 days as did cost to administer, satisfying multiple priorities originally perceived as conflicting.

Problem: The Office of Planning in a large urban American city received frequent complaints about their Land Tract Review process. This approval process was required by businesses when establishing new storefronts or other service locations in the city. The process was described as slow, opaque, unpredictable and caused the city to lose opportunity to provide services to their citizens. Office of Planning project managers spent too much time providing status information and not enough time on helping the process to flow.

Beauchamp Consulting
  • Conducted interviews and focus groups including legal experts, business owners, city agencies and community members to identify most important CTQ’s (Critical to Quality characteristics) and where the process was falling short of expectations.
  • Documented process map to streamline and reduce unnecessary steps, standardize, reduce the cycle time and increase both transparency and visibility of the process to the multiple agencies involved.
  • Digitized process to connect all parties using web-based forms and a standard pre-application meeting format to include all relevant parties up-front.
  • Benchmarked other cities to identify beneficial changes including a binding review process and separating projects by size and type to increase speed of smaller projects.
  • Linked business license process with the office of planning to ensure review affected licensure decision making.

Results
Reduced the number of days to process a large tract review from an average of 138 days to 60 days, receiving accolades from all parties involved.